A brand new type of post on this blog! Tons of fresh tunes are released every Friday by artists all over the world and I’m here to offer some insights on a selected few. Whether it’s Justin Bieber, a local artist I haven’t heard of, or a breakthrough artist releasing his/her first single, feel free to leave comments with any music releases you’d like me to keep tabs on.
>> Spotlight Reviews: New tracks I particularly enjoyed today
Seasons by Greyson Chance
- There’s probably a good reason why Chance rose to prominence over a viral YouTube video of him singing whilst playing the piano, and that reason is likely to be that the combination of his signature melodic voice and the piano is perfectly sufficient to make hearts swell. In Seasons, Chance sings about progressing through life, a concept that’s so simple yet universal. Its opening melody is calming and gentle, easily welcoming listeners into the song. The song itself has an air of both desperation and hope that’s elegantly complemented by daunting flow and backing vocals. If venturing into the future was to be captured in a song, this is a stellar example. At first listen, it’s difficult to pick up all the lyrics, but the phrase “I move forward like the seasons” is definitely one that resonates (and not just because it’s repeated more than any other phrase). Stylistically, this song is consistent with his previous solo releases such as London and Hit & Run, which is arguably a testament to Chance’s commitment to consolidating and refining his identity as an artist.
- Harris dropped a new ten-track, star-studded record today called Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 and it’s such a fun (and as the album title suggests, funky) album for welcoming the summer! After listening to snippets of each track, I’ve decided that Faking It is an early favourite of mine. The intriguing bass start successfully establishes the confrontational tone of the song, which centres around post-breakup inconsistencies as indicated by phrases such as “why you, why you, why you checking if you’re over it?” and “why you, why you say let go if you’re still holding it?” The transition from the groovy bass line to a more upbeat, danceable tune is done flawlessly, and I love that the bass is still used to consistently anchor the song. I can easily visualise this playful song being played in beach bars, and as far as summer tunes go, this one’s full of viral potential. Both Kehlani and Lil Yachty are amazing choices for this track, and there are moments when a Rihanna-like quality to Kehlani’s vocals is apparent. I’d be curious to hear the reasoning for including Lil Yachty’s conversational bit at the end, but I certainly agree with what he’s saying about Kehlani.
- Side note: We may never know if this song is a jab at Harris’ ex Taylor Swift, but it’s difficult to ignore the possibility given that “same old fucking story, everybody sings”, “stone cold diva”, and “better at faking it than me” are included in the lyrics. These and a few other examples might be hinting at the fact that Swift is notorious for singing about her exes and has been claimed as a diva as well as a fake, but I really shouldn’t be a judge of this.
Leave Me Alone by K.S.I (explicit)
- After over three months of social media hiatus, mega YouTube influencer Olajide Olatunji more commonly known as JJ or KSI makes an unexpected comeback by releasing his third album today after EPs Keep Up and Jump Around in 2016. It took me a while to find the songs on Spotify, because as opposed to releasing them on the KSI account, this album was posted under K.S.I instead (subtle difference but trust me this made it tricky). Anyway, Leave Me Alone is the third song on the six-track record and it’s an expression of JJ’s wish for people to just, well, leave him alone. This seems to be the overarching theme and running motive throughout the entire album, as encapsulated by the record title itself: Space. The underlying beat is nothing out of the ordinary, but the aggressive flow and eloquent rhymes are certainly the track’s stronger suits. There are so many quote-worthy bits to this song, but the chorus is definitely a highlight for me. From World of Warcraft character Leeroy Jenkins to Komodo dragons, the diverse references interweaved into the lyrics keep listeners, even those who are hardcore KSI fans, thinking and guessing. Consequently, I feel that this song is a successful embodiment of who JJ is as an influencer, because he certainly likes to keep everyone guessing and you never know what’s around the corner.
>> Honourable Mentions: Other great tracks released today that I wish I have time to review
- Super Far by LANY
- Sun Comes Up by Rudimental & James Arthur
- Parallel Lines by DVBBS, CMC$ & Happy Sometimes
- Two Fux by Adam Lambert (explicit)